Frequently Asked Questions
This page contains information on a few subjects that often come up, such as:

 Make sure you are inside City Limits before applying for a permit here.



Building a new house?

Building a new house is a major undertaking and there are a number of regulations and codes that must be accounted for in the planning and scheduling . To expedite the process the Development Services team has compiled a general handout for New Single Family that includes the most common considerations.

Some questions to address in preparing your project might include:

    • What are the setback and height limitations?
    • Are there special storm water concerns with my property?
    • Is my property located in the Edmonds Earth Subsidence and Landslide Hazard Area, which requires special geotechnical review.
Doing a remodel or addition?

Remodeling can vary from re-doing a room to adding a significant amount of new floor area, and the review and permitting will vary accordingly. Many of the questions listed under new house construction would be applicable to larger remodels/additions. Minor projects can usually be handled with a limited review and quick turnaround.  Residential remodel/addition information.

Adding a Deck or Patio?

Decks and patios are subject to setbacks as required by the zoning code and may require a building permit, depending on height, location and construction.

Building a fence?

Any new fence must be located within the property boundaries, so it is critical to know exactly where the property lines are before proceeding.

Whatever project you have in mind you can contact our development services staff to assist in preparing your permit submission.

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Building a new commercial building?

New commercial construction  typically requires review by building, planning, fire and engineering.  It is recommended that you schedule a meeting with our Development Review Committee to go over your project early in the concept/design phase to help expedite the project.

Want to do a tenant improvement?

A tenant improvement can vary in scope and the permitting and review required to be completed will vary accordingly.  You may wish to contact our Development Services Staff to assist in planning your project.

Need a sign?

A sign permit is required for most signs.  One of our Planning Staff can assist with your signage.

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to-do-iconWhen is a Building Permit required?

A building permit is required for any new construction, remodel, repair, demolition, change in use or conversion. Specific exemptions are provided for minor work. It is best to contact the Development Services staff prior to beginning work to verify if a permit is needed.

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to-do-iconI’m interested in Green Building.

Interested in installing solar panels? Options for including LID in your project?

LID (Low Impact Development) is encouraged and can lower your costs for expensive on-site stormwater storage and treatment. Engineering can provide more information.

Solar panels offer increased flexibility in how we use power and the City has promoted the use of solar power in residential and commercial applications. You can find out more here. Our staff can assist with your project.

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to-do-iconWhat options do I have to go over my project with city staff before I apply for a permit?

Informal review.Development Review Committee (DRC) meetings offer you an opportunity to go over your project with representatives from the various city departments that will review your application including: building, planning, engineering and fire. There is no charge for this service, and the discussion is informal. To explore if this is a good option contact the Development Services department at (425) 771-0220.

Formal pre-application meeting. For a fee, we offer an opportunity to obtain a more formal review of your proposal. This includes representatives of all affected departments/divisions, and you obtain more specific written comments that you can refer to after the meeting.

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Permitting Contacts

Development Services Department
121 5th Ave N
Edmonds, WA 98020

Phone: 425-771.0220
Fax: 425.771.0221

M, T, Th, F: 8am to 4:30pm
Wed 8:30am to Noon
The switchboard is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  425.771.0220


Building Division
Planning Division
Engineering Development Staff
Code Enforcement

Building & Code News

2019 Development Fees

New development fees - available here - as of January 1, 2019.


Sign Code Updated

The City's sign code has recently been updated, modifying how downtown sidewalk signs are regulated as well as improving some other more general sign code provisions. A summary can be found here, along with an application form.


Building Codes Updated

The 2015 International Building Codes as adopted by the City of Edmonds take effect on July 1, 2016.


Carbon Monoxide detectors

Updated information on the State requirements for CO detectors are shown in the attached memo.